How To Make Classic Spanakopita — Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Quentin Bacon)

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Add the lemon juice and zest and stir to incorporate. “,”image”:{“id”:”54bea43881f98325917216ff6b059b5c67260ec0″,”width”:1333,”height”:2000,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:504,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2016-04-11T16:00:04.218-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:735,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”2016_3_22_Kitchn_0054.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”570c02152a099a410a00a1ff”,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”f6f9825ee9a7167dabc0d59a0b4088e63aa5e180″,”caption”:”Add as many of the spinach leaves as the pan can hold, and cook, spooning the hot onion mixture over the leaves until they are fully wilted and very dark green in color, 4 to 5 minutes. “,”image”:{“id”:”f6f9825ee9a7167dabc0d59a0b4088e63aa5e180″,”width”:1333,”height”:2000,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:504,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2016-04-11T16:00:04.256-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:735,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”2016_3_22_Kitchn_0065.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”570c02352a099a424f009613″,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”0a66f669328bab643960918bb7104fcad70cde19″,”caption”:”Repeat the process, working in batches, until all the spinach is fully wilted. Cook the spinach until it has released its liquid and the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl.”,”image”:{“id”:”0a66f669328bab643960918bb7104fcad70cde19″,”width”:1333,”height”:2000,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:504,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2016-04-11T16:00:05.375-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:735,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”2016_3_22_Kitchn_0088.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”570c021c2a099a20db003a97″,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”eb69bd4e0f6af32cedc8451be1139d78016156f0″,”caption”:”Add the herbs and cheese: Add the dill, marjoram, and thyme and mix well. Add the feta and mix well. “,”image”:{“id”:”eb69bd4e0f6af32cedc8451be1139d78016156f0″,”width”:1333,”height”:2000,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:504,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2016-04-11T16:00:38.122-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:735,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”2016_3_22_Kitchn_0105.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”570c02642a099a415d009e5c”,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”ecd5ef32030d8594ad5d5f9a05655d8bec380feb”,”caption”:”Once the mixture is no longer piping hot, add the eggs and mix well. Set aside.”,”image”:{“id”:”ecd5ef32030d8594ad5d5f9a05655d8bec380feb”,”width”:1333,”height”:2000,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:504,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2016-04-11T16:00:06.188-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:735,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”2016_3_22_Kitchn_0122.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”570c022c2a099a29dc007111″,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”9d8bcf458763e1ba41475234da87646bc75b5618″,”caption”:”Heat the butter and oil in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Add the bay leaves. As soon as the butter is melted, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and steep the bay leaves for 5 minutes.”,”image”:{“id”:”9d8bcf458763e1ba41475234da87646bc75b5618″,”width”:1333,”height”:2000,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:504,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2016-04-11T16:00:04.522-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:735,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”2016_3_22_Kitchn_0070.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”570c020a2a099a425d00a949″,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”937fe5d1200cc228f8b963a8b7d0c5dafa16ba90″,”caption”:”Remove the filo dough sheets from their plastic wrapper, unroll on a work surface or plate, and cover with a piece of parchment paper. Drape a few moist paper towels over the parchment paper, covering the entire exposed surface of the pile of filo dough.”,”image”:{“id”:”937fe5d1200cc228f8b963a8b7d0c5dafa16ba90″,”width”:1333,”height”:2000,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:504,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2016-04-11T16:00:04.677-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:735,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”2016_3_22_Kitchn_0138.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”570c02392a099a6f880003f5″,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”f956da1fe81ab4f80f22d4c63191f073bf9a6caa”,”caption”:”Carefully peel 1 sheet of filo from the pile; be sure to replace the parchment and paper towel while you work with this sheet. Place it into the prepared baking dish positioning one end in the center of the pan and letting the sheet drape out over one of the long sides of the pan with about a 3-inch overhang. “,”image”:{“id”:”f956da1fe81ab4f80f22d4c63191f073bf9a6caa”,”width”:1333,”height”:2000,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:504,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2016-04-11T16:00:20.972-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:735,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”2016_3_22_Kitchn_0144.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”570c02522a099a40ed00a99e”,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”6cf56c5822ff05e9f32c39372a0ee59751cf0760″,”caption”:”Peel another sheet from the pile, replace the covering, and place the filo into the pan, next to the first sheet of filo, overlapping it slightly. “,”image”:{“id”:”6cf56c5822ff05e9f32c39372a0ee59751cf0760″,”width”:1333,”height”:2000,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:504,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2016-04-11T16:00:19.052-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:735,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”2016_3_22_Kitchn_0149.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”570c02522a099a425d00a959″,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”49069be5a92fab433ca812a2fb09c49539a1ae42″,”caption”:”Repeat, arranging a total of 6 sheets around the entire pan: Two on each long side and one each for the short sides. With a pastry brush, gently dab the some of the melted butter all over the surface of the filo, including the overhang, holding the filo gently with your hand. Don’t worry if some breaks off.”,”image”:{“id”:”49069be5a92fab433ca812a2fb09c49539a1ae42″,”width”:1333,”height”:2000,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:504,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2016-04-11T16:00:04.733-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:735,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”2016_3_22_Kitchn_0141.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”570c02352a099a422a00a352″,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”cfc9691e58ed16e7de7289d5d46dd8803e121250″,”caption”:”Arrange another layer of 6 sheets on top of the first layer, following the instructions in step 6. (You will have used a total of 12 sheets.) Brush with butter again.”,”image”:{“id”:”cfc9691e58ed16e7de7289d5d46dd8803e121250″,”width”:1333,”height”:2000,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:504,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2016-04-11T16:00:05.091-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:735,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”2016_3_22_Kitchn_0152.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”570c02432a099a69530001b1″,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”4cf7735eeab220a7d09f5f059d7b26846f82a464″,”caption”:”Spoon the filling into the crust. Use a silicone spatula to spread it evenly and smooth the top. Make sure to spread the filling into the corners.”,”image”:{“id”:”4cf7735eeab220a7d09f5f059d7b26846f82a464″,”width”:1333,”height”:2000,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:504,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2016-04-11T16:00:37.312-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:735,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”2016_3_22_Kitchn_0192.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”570c02642a099a6f880003fd”,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”82bef7d848b266ac852b5ffe4aa04d4d5b0152ff”,”caption”:”Fold the filo overhang up and onto the filling, beginning with the pieces on the long sides of the pan and finishing with the pieces on the short sides. You might find that some of the pieces break in the folding; you can simply place these pieces on top of the filling as if they had been folded. Other pieces might resist your attempt at folding. Use kitchen shears to cut these and fit them into the pan if needed.”,”image”:{“id”:”82bef7d848b266ac852b5ffe4aa04d4d5b0152ff”,”width”:1333,”height”:2000,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:504,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2016-04-11T16:01:12.859-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:735,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”2016_3_22_Kitchn_0214.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”570c02882a099a415d009e66″,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”505282f7847381e01dd0049b706f014ce6bdfcdd”,”caption”:”Carefully peel 1 sheet of filo from the pile and again replace the covering of paper towel. Place this sheet of filo lengthwise on top of the filling and tuck the edges into the sides. “,”image”:{“id”:”505282f7847381e01dd0049b706f014ce6bdfcdd”,”width”:1333,”height”:2000,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:504,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2016-04-11T16:01:02.913-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:735,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”2016_3_22_Kitchn_0226.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”570c027e2a099a67660003b7″,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”492762646aacc47cbb28c05f26d7e8270bfb4a0b”,”caption”:”With a pastry brush, gently dab the some of the melted butter all over it. “,”image”:{“id”:”492762646aacc47cbb28c05f26d7e8270bfb4a0b”,”width”:1333,”height”:2000,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:504,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2016-04-11T16:01:17.994-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:735,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”2016_3_22_Kitchn_0247.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”570c028d2a099a6d750003d9″,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”16406bdbb61c77e99815878a262bb8657ef11816″,”caption”:”Top with another sheet and brush with butter again. Repeat with 2 more sheets, brushing each with butter. Then place 2 sheets on at a time and dab the surface liberally with the butter. Repeat until you have used up a total of 8 sheets.”,”image”:{“id”:”16406bdbb61c77e99815878a262bb8657ef11816″,”width”:1333,”height”:2000,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:504,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2016-04-11T16:00:42.645-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:735,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”2016_3_22_Kitchn_0169.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”570c02692a099a415d009e5e”,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”b2e8537a697861c6fde9128846ef42903a66b4f9″,”caption”:”Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crispy. Serve immediately.”,”image”:{“id”:”b2e8537a697861c6fde9128846ef42903a66b4f9″,”width”:1333,”height”:2000,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:504,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2016-04-11T16:01:08.156-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:735,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”2016_3_22_Kitchn_0263.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”570c02832a099a2355004257″,”focus_z”:null}}]};

I’ve been very lucky. I learned to make spanakopita, the Greek spinach and feta casserole encased in filo dough, from a variety of sources — even without the benefit of a Greek grandmother by my side. I had books, I had friends, and eventually, I had professional cooks show me. I’ve also spent a lifetime eating it and enjoying every bite in diners, upscale restaurants, and, yes, versions made by someone else’s loving Greek grandmother.

I noticed a few key things along the way, learned lessons from trial and error, and have modified my recipe over the years to create a fail-proof pie (it’s all in how you fold it), with a filling so rich and flavorful you’ll wonder why you waited so long to make this a part of your home-cooking repertoire.

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